PBB veep: No reason PM can’t be from Sarawak, Sabah

Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (left) says it would be nice to see a fellow Sarawakian, or a Sabahan, be given the chance to become prime minister. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, June 29 — Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said today there is no reason a Sarawakian or Sabahan cannot be the country’s prime minister, if everyone accepts it.

He said it is nice to see someone from East Malaysia being given some kind of acknowledgement to be the prime minister, referring to the proposal for Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to be Pakatan Harapan’s candidate.

“If there is an impasse again as what was happening after Tun Dr Mahathir Mahomad stepped down as the prime minister or after the general election they could not find an acceptable candidate from Peninsular Malaysia, then it is good to consider someone from Sarawak or Sabah to the prime minister,” he said.

Abdul Karim, who is also the state tourism, arts and culture minister, said the difficulty to find an acceptable candidate could happen when both sides do not have enough number of parliamentary seats to form the government.

He also said in the event of a no-confidence vote that goes through in Parliament, the country will have to find a new prime minister.

“I would be very happy whether it is Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal or Senior Minister (Infrastructure) Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof or Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Open or even from the DAP, being proposed to be the prime minister.

“Why not?” he asked at a press conference before launching “Adventure Programme” organised by online news portal DayakDaily.

However, he said Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is still sticking to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, when asked if the coalition is supporting Shafie as the prime minister candidate as being suggested by Dr Mahathir.

“Personally, I see we should not rock the boat. The worst scenario would be uncertainty in the country,” he added.

He said he does not understand why the issue of a new prime minister has been brought up when Muhyiddin has just been appointed to the post.

“Personally, I feel, despite the problems brought about by Covid-19 pandemic that the world and Malaysia are facing, he is doing a very good job.

“When somebody is doing a very good job, why are we talking about another prime minister?” he asked.

Abdul Karim said Dr Mahathir “loves to spice things up with all kinds of comments knowing that whatever he says has been always been picked up by the media.”

“It is a diversionary effort by him,” he added.

He said Dr Mahathir should admit his mistake when he resigned as the prime minister in February.

“It is time for him to retire. He has done his part to contribute to the country and for that we respect him,” Karim said.